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Link Belts on a Drill Press - DO IT!

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Forum topic by William Shelley posted 09-29-2017 10:04 PM 2521 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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William Shelley

446 posts in 1251 days


09-29-2017 10:04 PM

Hi all.

I bought this drill press on craigslist a few years ago and it’s worked relatively well for me:

It made some wierd grinding/squealing sounds at certain speeds. There was a small amount of runout but I attributed it to poor quality drill bits and never paid much attention other than that.

I recently replaced the 1/2” v-belts with link-belts from Harbor Freight (the Accu-Link brand, I believe):

WHAT AN UPGRADE! The drill press is much quieter both when idling and drilling, the runout is completely gone, and the grinding/squealing sound stopped. The belts are also easier to change around when I need to adjust the speed.

I can also tell that the link belts work better because after drilling almost constantly for 30 minutes, the link belts are barely warm, whereas the old v-belts would have been very hot to the touch.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective


44 replies so far

View jonah's profile

jonah

1263 posts in 3081 days


#1 posted 09-30-2017 12:39 AM

I put link belts on everything that’ll take one. My DP, band saw, and my old table saw, and all worked great. If I ever get around to it, I’ll replace my Unisaw belts with link belts. They are fantastic.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10279 posts in 2162 days


#2 posted 09-30-2017 12:43 AM

My drill press is nearly identical and squeaks if I make the belt really tight. So I push the lever back and let go (as opposed to holding it taught while I tighten it down) which leaves a little slack in the belt and no squealing. But I did put a link belt on it and it’s smoother.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3414 posts in 2091 days


#3 posted 09-30-2017 01:15 AM

lol, you are about 20 years too late with that.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5806 posts in 1981 days


#4 posted 09-30-2017 01:21 AM

Not a fan of link belts for a multitude of reasons… and they won’t find their way onto my DP or any of my other machines. I do have one on my PM45 that was there when purchased, but it’s getting ready to be replaced with a real belt very soon.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

2793 posts in 1771 days


#5 posted 09-30-2017 01:52 AM

So why are link belt not desirable. (My drill press has no belts)

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

446 posts in 1251 days


#6 posted 09-30-2017 02:23 AM



How would a replacement belt fix runout on a drill press or any other machine.

- Joey2

It might not have an effect on a well-made drill press. But on a cheap taiwanese import from 1985, there’s likely not enough mass or rigidity to prevent belt-caused vibrations from traveling down the quill. That’s my theory anyway.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3414 posts in 2091 days


#7 posted 09-30-2017 02:41 AM

I have link belts on a lot of tool in my shop. They have never cause me a problem.


Not a fan of link belts for a multitude of reasons… and they won t find their way onto my DP or any of my other machines. I do have one on my PM45 that was there when purchased, but it s getting ready to be replaced with a real belt very soon.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix


This statement really needs some elaboration. If you don’t give us the reasons how do we learn. Leaning sharing is what this is all about I thought. when I worked on a Military Base in maintenance they had rolls and rolls of link belts in different sizes.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jbay's profile (online now)

jbay

1735 posts in 681 days


#8 posted 09-30-2017 03:00 AM

I have link belts on my wide belt machine.
Without them, I would be taking the whole machine apart to change regular belts.
They work just fine other than they do stretch, and I have to adjust the tension every so often.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5806 posts in 1981 days


#9 posted 09-30-2017 03:14 AM

I have link belts on my wide belt machine.
Without them, I would be taking the whole machine apart to change regular belts.
- jbay

IMO, that is about the only appropriate place to use them, and it is quite frequently done exactly that way in industrial environments where changing belts involve a lot of disassembly.

As to reasons I don’t care for them -
Link belts will cause premature wear and eat many pulleys, particularly die-cast ones, will stretch, and in a lot of instances can inject vibration and noise rather than reduce it. I’ve never had a problem using quality belts, replacing them when needed, and if the particular application has a smallish sheave, a cogged belt works best. YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3414 posts in 2091 days


#10 posted 09-30-2017 03:36 AM


I have link belts on my wide belt machine.
Without them, I would be taking the whole machine apart to change regular belts.
- jbay

IMO, that is about the only appropriate place to use them, and it is quite frequently done exactly that way in industrial environments where changing belts involve a lot of disassembly.

As to reasons I don t care for them -
Link belts will cause premature wear and eat many pulleys, particularly die-cast ones, will stretch, and in a lot of instances can inject vibration and noise rather than reduce it. I ve never had a problem using quality belts, replacing them when needed, and if the particular application has a smallish sheave, a cogged belt works best. YMMV.

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix


Thanks for responding. I’ve read enough of your post over time that I value you knowledge. My mileage does vary. Maybe I don’t run my machines enough but I have never worn out a pulley and have helped with vibration on on my drill press and older Delta belt/disk sander. After many years I did just the other day pull one link out of my drill press. The other reason I like them is I have a roll on hand. If I need one I don’t have to make a trip to town

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6315 posts in 3150 days


#11 posted 09-30-2017 04:50 AM

I have link belts on my Craftsman TS!
The TS is from 1972 and the belts are vintage 1976.
At that time I also replaced the cast pulleys with turned pulleys!
Last winter’s maintenance pass showed no belt or pulley issues but a lot of left over sawdust!
I was surprised and impressed on the difference in vibration free operation and decrease in noise.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1550 posts in 1004 days


#12 posted 09-30-2017 02:41 PM

I have a set installed on my Unisaw. They did help with vibration on startup, but the big day-to-day change I noticed is when I’m changing saw blades. I can rotate the blade to align the arbor nuts for the wrenches and where I stop, the blade stays put. Before this change, the blade often would turn back on its own, probably from a degree of “set” in the three short original belts.

View jonah's profile

jonah

1263 posts in 3081 days


#13 posted 09-30-2017 05:56 PM

Do you happen to remember how many links you used to make one unisaw belt? I’ve not done the replacement yet out of laziness.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10279 posts in 2162 days


#14 posted 09-30-2017 07:47 PM

The only negative I’ve had from link belts are that the green ones from HF are too wide for my tablesaw pulleys and make a lot of noise. I need to order the red ones which are narrower and all should be well.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3414 posts in 2091 days


#15 posted 09-30-2017 09:36 PM



The only negative I ve had from link belts are that the green ones from HF are too wide for my tablesaw pulleys and make a lot of noise. I need to order the red ones which are narrower and all should be well.

- Rick_M

All my tools with link belts I’m using 1/2 wide belts. That would be my drill press which I think is the same one pictured in this thread, my wide belts sander, a home built stationary edge sander, a Delta disk/belt sander and my 4 pulley Delta Rockwell 12-14 cabinet saw.

http://www.fennerdrives.com/powertwist-plus/

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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